April 20, 2022- I stopped in at a small local pizzeria, just before a Baha’i meeting, this evening. There was a lone server, a young woman, who seemed flustered by the eatery’s computer system. While she was gracious and seemed eager to focus on the considerable number of patrons who were gathering, as dinner hour progressed, the computer and the paperwork just seemed to be more of a hindrance than anything else.
There were at least five men in the back, who no doubt had their own specific duties, but only one came up front to help her with the system. The front was backed up, and despite her game face, I sensed she was struggling.
I mention this, because it is the second time this week that I have been in a restaurant, where it seemed like men were standing around, having conversation, while a lone woman was holding down the fort in the front. Maybe times have changed, but I recall working in establishments in the 1970s and ’80s, where we all were a team and pitched in when one member was having a rough time.
Later, at another gathering, I was asked to try and find some time to help out with another person’s project, over the next few months. This will happen, yet I want to see more reaching out-so that more people are drawn in to the effort-not just the same few of us, who are asked over and over again, to just find more time. That will be as much the crux of my efforts in this matter, as direct assistance itself.
This brings up the current wildfire situation in northern and central Arizona. The grasslands and scrub forest, east of Flagstaff, and the pine-clad mountains, southeast of Prescott, are each enduring conflagrations of unknown origin. Shelters are established, and I will be helping out with the one close to Home Base, both weekend nights and on Monday, if needed. Again, a small cadre of us holding the fort, so that the rest of the community may go about their business. In fairness, this has been the case with others, when I have been committed elsewhere.
Somehow, though, I would love to see more people take up the mantle of support and relief.
Gary, I have a theory. Back when the younger generations were reaching adulthood, community service was used as a punishment for infractions and as an alternative to jail time. I suspect that many of them equate helping out with punishment so don’t want to step up or get involved… Still there are others who have overcome that prejudice and see volunteering as a worthwhile and fulfilling activity…
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There is also volunteer fatigue, for which the only conceivable remedies are taking breaks and contemplating the real value of giving one’s time and energy. It should never be to please someone else.